Archives for category: Training Skills

I will be at the session this week but then away for the next two weeks so will leave the sessions in the box at the pool.  This year my holiday seems to coincide with our other Saturday coaches so you will be in charge of yourselves.  Whoever is at the pool first please help to put the lane ropes out and get the sessions out of the club box in the office for each lane.

This week we are doing some fast-paced 100s but with quite a bit of extra rest than usual.  Aim to swim them at the fastest pace you can maintain for the whole set.

Finally, there are a few extra keen triathletes I know who do like sessions while they are away when they have access to the pool so I have added some here.

See you Saturday,

Rob

It’s the return of the Will Clarke set this week after a fairly long absence from our Saturday morning training.  For those of you that have forgotten, or not done it before, it’s the set of alternating fast and easier paced 50s starting on a short turnaround time and going off longer turnaround times as the number of fast 50s increases.

This is a great set for both speed and speed endurance.  To get the most benefit I would recommend  focusing just on the fast 50s.  It is a challenge to do this at the start of the set when the turnaround times are short.  Please do try to keep a change in pace, even if you are only getting a few seconds rest or almost swimming continuously on the slower ones, since it great training for your speed endurance.

See you Saturday,

Rob

This week we will be working on an important skill for open water racing – the start.  The specific aspect I want to work is starting fast to help you get into a good position during a mass start and then easing off into a sustainable race pace.  We will be doing this with some positive split 200s – meaning you swim the first 100 fast and then drop back into a steadier and sustainable race pace.

A good way to practice this is to leave a 5s gap and try and get on the feet of the swimmer ahead during the fast 100 and then hang onto their slip stream, without any annoying toe-tapping.  Similarly you can try and few tactics of trying to vary the pace a bit to stay away from the swimmer behind if there is space in the lane.

Swimming at different paces is a feature of good open water racing – taking advantage of swimmers around you to slipstream and trying to stop others take advantage of you – so focus on that during the session this week.

See you Saturday,

Rob

220 Magazine tweeted this week with a link to one of their older articles by Darren Smith about the importance of using your core in swimming (with some good tips that are worth re-reading).  I’ve spoken about this before in a previous post Cutting to the Core and thought it would be a good time to focus on this again.

Using your core is only really effective if you have a good anchor with a high-elbow catch but once you have that high-elbow a strong rotation from your core can make a massive difference in the power you can generate for much less effort.  So this week we will be some more work to focus on the your core by doing some of the drills Chloe Sutton recommended so please do watch her video again here and especially the hip-connector drill, which we haven’t done before.

After the drills we will be doing the ratchet set.  This type of set is a great one to allow you to practise using your core in the first half of the set, swimming with maximal efficiency, so saving some energy for the tighter turnaround times at the end!

See you Saturday!

Rob

It’s time for our USRPT main set of fast 50s again this week.  Read my previous post if you want a reminder on how best to tackle this set to get the most from it.  Also, as it’s the Great East Swim this week I will only be around to coach the 7am session but Chrissie has kindly offered to coach the 8am session.  The session is all mine, though, so don’t blame Chrissie!

See you Saturday,

Rob

This week we will be doing what I call the Brownlee main set of 100s, so-called as the Brownlees say it is one of the favourite swim sets, which we haven’t done for a long time.  It’s very simple and consists of 15 x 100s, swum 1-5 progressively with the 4th 100 being at race pace and the 5th one faster than race pace.  I really like it as contains a little bit of everything we like in a good triathlon main set – it’s specific to our typical race distance of 1,500m, includes a mix of different paced swimming and is great for race-pace endurance.

To do it well make sure you pace yourself at the start so you can really pick up the pace as you go through the set.  And try and pick up the pace as you would when doing a “golf stroke” set by increasing your stroke rate but keeping the same number of strokes per length.

See you Saturday,

Rob

Well done to everyone for your efforts last week during the longer sessions.  And special kudos to Alex, Simon and Edda who did a the full 3 hours (I hope I didn’t miss anyone else that did the full monty)!  This week is back to normal with our 7-8 and 8-9:15am sessions and we will be doing some aerobic paced 150s as the main set.

For technique this week we will be working on stroke rate after several weeks of focusing on the high-elbow underwater pull with a pause.  This is especially important when swimming in open water where a slightly higher stroke rate, and straighter-arm recovery, is often more effective (and efficient) to help overcome the additional resistance in the shoulders from the wetsuit.  So this week there will be a chance to practice it in the pool with some head-up front crawl and straight-arm recovery drills.  Try and do these drills to increase the stroke rate above the water (and not worrying about how pretty or careful your hand-entry is) but keeping that good high-elbow underwater pull we have been working on over the last few weeks.

See you tomorrow,

Rob

After the intensity of the swims over the last two weeks we’re going to mix it up a bit this week with a triathlon swimmer’s equivalent of cross-training – some different strokes!  There will still be plenty of front crawl – all at an aerobic pace so giving you more time to think about your technique – but with some medley swims thrown into the main set.

I do think swimming different strokes every once in a while is good for a number of reasons.  Firstly, it helps you become a more-rounded swimmer by helping develop water skills you don’t get from just swimming front crawl.  Also, different strokes really do work different muscles much better and Butterfly, especially, is a really good work-out for your core.  And swimming different strokes is fun, too, and gives you a break from the same-old strokes each week.

I know many of you do find Butterfly difficult so please just give it a try.  Butterfly is the hardest stroke for pretty much everyone and the secret to making it easier is to get the dolphin action by really diving under the water on each stroke and letting your hips rise.  One of the most effective ways of doing this is to throw your head down quickly after breathing as the momentum of your head will help with the diving down action.  If you are really struggling try just doing single-arm butterfly and getting the rhythm that way first.

Next week we have the pool for 3 hours as the juniors are away at Grafham so if you are around look forward to a longer session!

See you Saturday,

Rob

Well done for all your efforts last week on the USRPT 50s.  It was good to see some good times from those pushing the pace and also some great consistency from those swimming at a more comfortable pace in preparation for racing on Sunday.

This week we will keep pushing the pace with some fast 100s.  I’d like you to aim to swim them at double your USRPT 50 pace plus 3-5 seconds.  So, if you were swimming each 50 last week in 50 seconds, I’d like you to aim for 1:43-1:45 for each 100 this week.  There will be a reasonable amount of rest plus a few Brucey Bonus rests to ensure you can keep the pace high.  To help keep the pace going throughout the 100 please focus on the second half of each 100 and think about the “Hinge” (2) of your 1-2-3 on each stroke to ensure you are maintaining your strong catch.

See you Saturday,

Rob

This week we will be doing the set of fast 50s as USRPT (Ultra Short Race Pace Training).  This can be swum in a couple of different ways.

The first way is to swim it at a comfortable pace and focus on good pacing and technique.  As the turnaround times are comfortable this is very possible and will give you a comfortably-paced session that is not too taxing.  This is ideal if you have a race coming up, you are coming back from injury or just need a low intensity session.

The other way is to swim it at an unsustainably fast pace that means you will need to miss out at least 2 of the 50s to maintain your times.  This is how the set is intended to be swum and designed to give you the benefit from a lot of faster than race pace swimming and helps you work on maintaining your technique and speed while fatigued.  Please read my previous post on the details of how to swim it this way here.

I am very happy with whichever way you decide to tackle this session as you know what sort of session is best for you at this stage of the season.  My only request is that you put yourself in the right position in the correct lane (with everyone swimming 5s intervals and getting 20-25s rest) to make sure everyone can get the right workout we want from this session.

Thanks and see you Saturday!

Rob

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